What is the difference between Taobao and Tmall?

Many people think Taobao and Tmall are the same, but it is not quite true. This article will help you understand the differences between Taobao and Tmall and choose the best trading platform for your shopping through Parcel Up.

Taobao Marketplace is a huge Asian online store with millions of Chinese sellers and shops operating on a C2C (consumer-to-consumer) system.

This system allows sales of goods and services between individuals. For example, Taobao acts as an intermediary (a platform) in sales between private parties (the seller as an individual and the buyer/consumer).

Taobao marketplace allows individuals to open an online shop on its website if those potential sellers meet specific requirements.

Nowadays, Taobao is a rapidly developing Internet C2C platform. It takes a significant share of the global Internet market, with an annual turnover of over $15 billion.


Hence, many sellers want to open their stores on Taobao Marketplace. They dream of the rapid growth of their businesses. Some of them do not think about the means of achieving such a goal, and occasionally, there might be dishonesty in their sales.

However, this does not mean that buying on Taobao is risky. Taobao Marketplace has a special department responsible for tracking suspicious transactions and closing shops owned by unscrupulous sellers. As a result, the risks are significantly reduced.

Tаоbао Mall (Tmall) is a trade site based on the Tаоbао platform, operating on a B2C (business-to-consumer) system. Such a trade model assumes the seller must be a legal entity (an organization, an official manufacturer, or a registered brand) offering their goods and services to end consumers – individuals.

For opening a shop on Tmall, the legal entity needs to provide all appropriate documentation to confirm the reliability, genuineness, and real fact of existence of the organization, company, manufacturer, or brand. This approach eliminates the risk that an unscrupulous seller with products of dubious quality will trade on Tmall.

Taobao guarantees that all goods on Tmall are official and authentic. On each seller’s page, you can see certificates of quality and compliance.


Today, there are over 70 thousand official stores of domestic and international brands on Tmall, including Ray-Ban, Nokia, P & G, Adidas, GAP, Samsung, and others. Tmall offers genuine branded products that are much cheaper than those in traditional stores.

Taobao and Tmall are not competitors. They just cater to different shopping needs. If you need authentic goods with various guarantees from official sellers, then we strongly advise you to shop on Tmall. Tmall sellers put guarantee deposits on Tmall, pay and use Taobao’s quality infrastructure and logistics, invest in marketing and providing quality services, etc. There are way fewer mistakes on Tmall. Therefore, prices are usually higher on Tmall than on Taobao. To save money when buying on Tmall, you can check out special sales and various promotional events with different Tmall sellers. Even without special discounts, the prices on Tmall are much lower than in usual shops.

Compared to Tmall, Taobao sellers offer a much wider choice of goods, and you can find almost anything there. If you make your purchase decision based on carefully reviewing the rating of the seller, the number of sales, and customer reviews, it is possible to buy cheap quality goods on Taobao.

To shop on Taobao, you would need to consider a few things. One is that not all private sellers on Taobao have a stock of goods, and that could cause problems with exchanges or refunds of nonconforming items. Second, some sellers on Taobao can be secondhand dealers scattered all over China without infrastructure or logistics. Making purchases with them could undertake the risk of experiencing extended/delayed purchase time, ship-out period, and delivery period (parcels could also easily get lost). Those are very difficult to control and manage.

Tmall and Taobao are the dominant e-commerce platforms in China. Every day, they become more and more significant competitors for sales leaders Amazon and eBay.

Most customers on Chinese trading platforms use the Alipay online payment service.

You can choose to buy on Taobao and/or Tmall. To decide between Taobao and Tmall, you just need to answer these questions: What do you want from shopping? What are your opportunities? Do you have enough experience working with Chinese marketplaces?

Parcel Up team always advises correlating the expectations to the opportunities of the trading platform you choose.

Parcel Up service gives maximum attention to purchases and checking all received goods. But it may happen that due to unfair sellers, the terms of processing your orders may increase.

Parcel Up significantly reduces potential risks when buying and managing goods in China because our team consists of experienced and competent Chinese buyers and logisticians.

Enjoy your shopping with Parcel Up!